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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: J. Thomas Pierce, MBBS PhD(Navy Environmental Health Center)
Description: This manual can help healthcare workers protect themselves from injury. It introduces readers to stresses and hazards unique to the healthcare environment and provides practical steps to make the work safer. Five interesting case studies at the end of the book could be used for small group sessions (preventable lower back injuries, needle sticks, and occupational dermatitis).
Purpose: This book is different from many others in that it is intended to assist caregivers rather than those employed in the safety profession. While it is potentially helpful to caregivers, I don't see any reason why safety and health professionals can't use it as well.
Audience: It would be a good idea to provide this book to healthcare trainees before regrettable incidents occur. I can see it in the hands of nurses and medical technologists, among many others. It should also find a home in staff libraries as well as in safety offices.
Features: The five sections lay the foundation (section I), detail hazards and controls (section II), cover wellness challenges (section III), discuss improving working conditions (section IV), and present case studies (section V). Its treatment of wellness areas balances the more classical occupational safety and health issues.
Assessment: There is a lot out there in the general field of healthcare safety but this contribution will stand on its own merits. Because the book is simply written, one can envision its last chapter being generated by its readers who apply its principles in the setting of focus groups or other discussion settings.